March 23, 2020
Ex-Hacienda de San Gabriel de Barrera
This is the Ex-Hacienda de San Gabriel de Barrera. Located about 30 minutes outside of the main town of San Miguel de Allende, it was built in the 1600s by Captain Barrera, the silver mining tycoon who came over from Spain.
Captain Barrera employed Mayan Indians to help him build this fortress which was hidden under a canopy of trees. This was intentional as Barrera did not want anyone to know it was there. When Barrera learned about the Mexican Independence he killed all of the Mayan workers so they couldn't tell anyone about his home. His plan was well thought out because no one discovered the hacienda after Barrera fled back to Spain. When the government discovered the property in the late 1930s, early 1940s, they found everything intact including the altar in the private chapel which was made of 40% gold. The property was cleaned up and then used to entertain influential people. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip stayed at the Hacienda when they attended a festival in Mexico. A pool was installed and the bathrooms were remodeled and made operable with running water to accommodate the royals.
There is very little information available about this Hacienda besides what tour guides tell you. We came across a coffee table book about it several years back in the book store of the Diego Rivera Home/Museum. We did not buy it because we planned on ordering it from Amazon. We were unable to find it anywhere and were unable to get back to Guanajuato to purchase it.
This courtyard is where you enter the home.
I love this chandelier.
Hand-painted details on the walls
The personal chapel of the hacienda.
Cacti growing out of the roof tiles.
This is a view of one of the pavilions. This hacienda is a destination for private events including weddings and photoshoots.
Beautiful stone details
My first time to see Fuschia in person
The Monstera plants are enormous here and in Guatemala.
If anyone out there has anything to contribute to this post I welcome you to do so. I will forever be on the search for that book so keep your fingers crossed.